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3D printing stocks have been laggards for quite a few years now, reflecting the industry’s struggles to turn a profit. That could be about to change as 3D printing, whose potential is still mostly untapped, will be playing a much greater role in manufacturing going forward, thanks in part to COVID-19. This shift comes at a time when the technology has never been more accessible or commercially in use than now, paving the way for those long-awaited profits. Perhaps that explains why PRNT, the 3D Printing ETF, is suddenly breaking out.

Related ETF: The 3D Printing ETF (PRNT)

The 3D printing industry has experienced consistent and stable growth over the past decade, disrupting multiple industries including healthcare, transportation, and construction. One of the main advantages of 3D printing is the fact that it builds parts from the ground up, in a layer-on-layer process — hence, why it is known as “additive manufacturing”. By applying automation techniques to the process and artificial intelligence (AI) technology to help design the parts, innovators are now able to make better products, faster.

In healthcare, 3D printing offers new ways to produce not only prosthetics, implants, and artificial limbs, but also replacement bones, tissues, and vessels that are tailored-made to fit the patient. For example, scientists have the ability to scan a human body and 3D-print a part that is specifically designed for that body, resulting in better patient outcomes while saving time.

In aerospace, an industry that also requires highly complex, low volume parts, and in which weight reduction is the holy grail (in addition to safety), 3D-printing is assuming an increasingly important role. That’s because every kilogram saved in plane components prevents 25 tons of CO2 emissions during the lifespan of an aircraft. Parts produced with 3D printing weigh up to 55% less while reducing raw material used by up to 90% for the manufacturer…

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